While most of the attention today is on the new Big Tex, his home at Big Tex Circle has received significant upgrades. The State Fair of Texas spent about $600,000 on foundation improvements to support the new guy, as well as on beautification at Big Tex Circle.
Graphic panels are being placed around Big Tex Circle that offer more details on his history and tell his life story. The three-by-five foot panels are designed as photo ops for fairgoers.
Nottestad & Co., a Dallas graphic design firm, has designed the exhibit for the State Fair in collaboration with landscape architect Studio Outside.
More on the panels
Dean Nottestad, a designer with Nottestad & Co., says that the panels are like a super-sized family album. Each panel focuses on one decade, starting in the 1950s, when Big Tex made his debut.
Photos were chosen that feature key fair events, such as Big Tex’s appearance in “State Fair” with Pat Boone and Ann-Margret, Nottestad said. (Big Tex’s 2009 appearance with Oprah Winfrey didn’t make the cut.) Did you know that when the Texas Star Ferris wheel was built in the ‘80s, some were concerned it would outshine Big Tex?
Native Texas plants surround Tex
The mound that supports Big Tex has been beautified.
Andrew Duggan, a landscape architect with Studio Outside, says the plants on the mound include thornless prickly pear cactus, Texas sage and purple salvia. All are native Texas plants and chosen for their color. The cacti were chosen for their architectural quality – and cactus is shown in artwork around Fair Park.
The white picket fence that surrounds Big Tex is gone. In its place is a short wall of colored precast concrete made to resemble the look of Cordova cream limestone. The wall is designed to reflect the Art Deco look that dominates Fair Park.